Harlem “High Line” expected to create 2,000 affordable units

Air rights along Broadway would up the height limit on promenade to 16 stories

Daniel Cohen and rendering of air rights transfers
Daniel Cohen and rendering of air rights transfers

The Harlem Promenade, a proposed elevated park over part of the Amtrak rail lines in Hamilton Heights, is expected to spur as much as 2,000 units of affordable housing in the area.

Daniel Cohen of local nonprofit the Housing Partnership conceived the plan, which would move the air rights to Broadway, DNAinfo reported. The project would establish a special district zone requiring developers to adhere to a 50-50 breakdown of affordable and market-rate housing. The air rights would increase the height limit to 16 stories from 12. In the area, a total of 4,000 new apartments – including both affordable and market-rate – would be possible, Cohen told DNAinfo.

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Cohen is in talks to transfer the rail line’s unused air rights to Multiple Properties Along Broadway in an effort to receive $170 million in public funding for the promenade and other projects.

Some community leaders, however, are skeptical of the plans.

“It’s an unusual proposal because it’s not a developer,” City Council member Mark Levine told DNAinfo, regarding the Housing Partnership. “This is really just creating a zoning opportunity for developers to come in. There are more unknowns here than normal.” [DNAinfo]Mark Maurer